Aug
22

Moses: “I am Afraid”

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Moses stands apart from many Old Testament characters in that he served as the great deliverer and law giver of Israel. He is a picture of strength and courage in the face of incredible odds. His feats of faith would establish him as one of the most revered of all the leaders of God’s people. If Israel had a Mount Rushmore, he would certainly be included in the memorial.

But he didn’t start that way. His story begins with fear and reluctance, standing barefoot before a burning bush, making excuse after excuse as to why he could not return to Egypt (Exodus 3:1-4:17). On the surface we see his hesitation, but beneath the surface we observe a man overcome by fear.

Why is Moses so afraid? For one thing, he has a past. Prior to this encounter with God we have two small vignettes from his biography that are forty years apart. There’s the story of his birth, hidden in the reeds along the water’s edge then taken in by Pharaoh’s daughter. Then, four decades later, his curiosity drives him to try to re-connect with his true people, only to lose his temper and commit murder. This murder would cause him to flee for his life to the Midian desert. So you can understand why he would be afraid to return to Egypt. He has a past.

Another issue Moses has is the fact that at the time of God’s call he is 80 years old. When I think of being 80 years old I think of being in the twilight of my life. For Moses, 80 meant a brand new start.

Moses certainly has reason to be afraid, no doubt about it. But he doesn’t see in himself what God sees in him. This is often true of us as well. God invites us to become involved in his Kingdom mission because he sees in us something we can’t see in ourselves.

What does God give us in our moments of hesitation and reluctance? I’ll take that up in part two of this post.

Categories : Jars of Clay

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